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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Links - 21st December 2010

"The only thing that lasts longer than a friend's love is the stupidity that keeps us from knowing any better." - Randy K. Milholland


Facebook | Visualizing Friendships - "When the data is the social graph of 500 million people, there are a lot of lenses through which you can view it"
This is a good way of viewing Facebook penetration - Very strong in what looks like Vanuatu and Western Samoa, Indonesia, the Philippines and Turkey, while weak to non-existent in China (hurr hurr), Russia, Inland Africa (except for Northwest Africa) and Brazil

Bizarre HR: CEO fires herself to save employees’ jobs

This Japanese Multiplication Method Will Divide Your Brain By Zero - "You just need to follow the instructions in the video, and you will be able to multiply any number by any number by just counting the dots in the grid"

Vintage Tokyo subway manner posters

PLoS Medicine: Lifetime Medical Costs of Obesity: Prevention No Cure for Increasing Health Expenditure - "Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures"
This is like how smokers actually save health systems money by dying early

Can The L-word Be Saved? - "In America today... most of what passes for liberal and progressive politics is a conservative reaction against economic and social changes that the left doesn’t like. The people who call themselves liberal in the United States today are fighting desperate rearguard actions to save policies and institutions that are old and established, that once served a noble purpose, but that now need fundamental reform (and perhaps in some cases abolition) lest they thwart the very purposes for which they were once made"

Bering in Mind: Animal Lovers: Zoophiles Make Scientists Rethink Human Sexuality - "For some people, having sex with their animal “lovers” may amount to more than just substituting human sex with the next best thing. Rather, for them, sex with nonhuman animals is the best thing... the majority of zoophiles scoffed at the notion that they were abusive toward animals in any way—far from it, they said. Many even consider themselves to be animal welfare advocates in addition to zoophiles... the majority (71 percent) considered themselves to be well-adjusted in their current lives, with 92 percent seeing no reason to stop having sex with their animal partners. This is an important point, because the current version of the American Psychological Association’s professional handbook (the DSM-IV) classifies zoophilia as a disorder only if an individual’s sexual attraction to nonhuman animals causes the person to experience distress... having had an orangutan rudely thrust his penis into my ear, a chimpanzee in estrus forcibly back her swollen anogenital region into my midsection... I know that it’s not only humans who are at risk of misreading sexual interest in other species. The Arabian stallion that impaled a Seattle man with its erect penis in 2005, fatally perforating the man’s colon, makes one wonder who the victim really was"

Do supporters of Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo really know what he stands for? - "He has endorsed the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and he applauded the Vietnam and Korean wars retrospectively in a 2001 essay... Liu has also advocated the total westernisation of China. In a 1988 interview he stated that "to choose westernisation is to choose to be human""
The comments are great:
"Liberals in the third world are anti-totalitarian, liberals in the West increasingly merely anti-American"
"Who wouldn't chose to live in a country run by the secular democratic institutions that have evolved in the West? Amazingly, there has been more energy put into defending WikiLeaks this week than the sum total of protest against China's clampdown on press freedom and Internet access, um, ever. Tells you everything you need to know about the Left."etc

Si vous montez à la Tour Eiffel, vous verrez... un sexe géant

Austria: Judge Rules That Yodeling Offends Muslims - "The citizen, 63-year-old Helmut G., was told by the court that his yodeling offended his next-door Muslim neighbors, who accused him of trying to mock and imitate the call of the Muezzin"

The myth of al-Aqsa - "Muhammad's abandonment of Jerusalem explains the fact that this city is not mentioned even once in the Koran. After Palestine was occupied by the Muslims, its capital was Ramlah, 30 miles to the west of Jerusalem, signifying that Jerusalem meant nothing to them. Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Mohammad's death"

Kisses of Death - "There are "kisses of death" in applying to graduate school... Personal statements that included too much personal information, evidence of the candidate's mental instability, excessive altruism (e.g., "I believe I am destined to save the world"), or stating the obvious (e.g., "I want to be in psychology to help people.") were viewed as damaging to an application by selection committee chairs"

Website to export French-style adultery to 'puritan' US - "His iniquitous forum has over half-a-million members, mainly in Europe, of which almost 250,000 are in France, a country with an historic reputation for infidelity... "The French love infidelity. Even if they don't practise it, they're very good spectators"... The site's success, including its attraction for women, comes from French notions of seduction, with a quarter of women going there for nothing more than flirtation... "Some women just need to feel seduced, to read a little message that says, 'you look pretty in this photo', they like to hear that because they don't hear it from their husbands anymore"... Not surprisingly, in a country where an overnight bag is known as a "baise-en-ville" (sex away from home), Truchot doesn't think adultery is necessarily bad... 14 percent of Frenchmen do not consider a one-night stand infidelity, nor do seven percent of Frenchwomen, while 22 percent of the French think that infidelity can save a relationship as it "gives moments of freedom"... Serge Tisseron, a specialist on the psychological impact of web encounters and videogames, describes the Internet as "an excellent accelerator of idiosyncrasies"... our morals are indeed changing, with couples increasingly opting for civil partnerships rather than marriage so "there's no longer adultery""

Verbal vs. mathematical aptitude in academics - "Philosophers are the smartest humanists, physicists the smartest scientists, economists the smartest social scientists"

Catholic Bishop Castigates and Threatens Hospital that Saved Woman's Life - "The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed with the decision... Bishop Olmstead is not only castigating Catholic Healthcare West, the group that runs St. Joseph's Hospital, for saving her life but threatening them in order to force them to promise that doctors will never save a woman's life if it requires an emergency abortion ever again... The ACLU claims that Olmstead's insistence that the hospital must never provide an emergency abortion procedure is actually a violation of federal law"
One comment: "If the mother dies, then obviously the baby dies as well. There is no chance of keeeping an eleven week old fetus alive outside the womb...If they want fewer abortions, then the best way to achieve that is to offer birth controls to all who require them"
Many of the commenters are looking at this as an anti-woman/misogynistic issue, when really others have it spot on: "the primary function of their existence is... to control individuals' behavior here on earth"

Does the new vaccine that prevents cervical cancer require you to be a vergin? - "A: no but it will help your spelling"

ULTRASONIC PLANT STIMULATION - "The plants treated with ultrasonic vibrations had grown an average of 87% taller than their control cousins... For rabbits, mice, gerbils, and monkeys, continued exposure to this sort of sound can cause lackluster appetite, loss of weight, and (in extreme cases) even death"

Coming to Grips With an iPad Carrier - "Guys who want to lug around their iPads are finding themselves quietly reaching for a so-called man purse, or murse. The iPad-shaped bags seem to be the gadgetphile’s equivalent of a woman’s clutch... One strategy, touted on online forums, is to turn to macho surplus military gear. That advice led Foo Conner, a 25-year-old consultant from Pittsburgh, to buy a World War II-era Swiss ammunition case to carry around his iPad. “It had to be more masculine,” said Mr. Conner, who added that the bag is now nearly sold out online"
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